Black Bean Soup with Mango Relish

From A Taste of Excellence Cookbook, Rudi Sodamin

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This Cuban-style soup is also delicious served with rice: Unmold a ramekin of cooked rice into a shallow soup bowl, pour the soup around, and top the rice with the mango relish.


YIELD: 6 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

FOR THE MANGO RELISH

  • 1 mango, peeled and finely diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ bunch scallions, white and tender green portions only, thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime

FOR THE BLACK BEAN SOUP

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • ½ Spanish onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight
  • 10 ½ cups vegetable stock, canned or homemade, plus extra for thinning soup
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions:

FOR THE MANGO RELISH

In a small nonreactive bowl, combine all ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate until needed.

 

FOR THE BLACK BEAN SOUP

In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add bacon, onion, and garlic; sauté until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.  Stir in cumin and cook a few seconds more.

Add dried beans, stock, vinegar, and salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are tender, about 40 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  With a slotted spoon, remove some black beans and reserve for garnish.  Transfer remaining contents of saucepan in batches to a blender.  Puree until smooth, adding additional stock if soup is too thick.  Reheat and adjust seasoning, adding black pepper.  Spoon into soup bowls and garnish with mango relish and reserved whole cooked black beans.

 

TIP

A blender works better than a food processor or a food mill for pureeing soups.  Food processors tend to leak around the motor shaft when filled more than halfway with hot soup, and food mills have a hard time breaking down fibrous ingredients.  To avoid burns, always remember to let your soup cool down a bit before pureeing it.  – Dennis Starch, executive chef

Bon Appétit!